Delta Air Lines will add an eighth destination to its growing Africa route network in January, with the first-ever scheduled direct service between the United States and Luanda, Angola. Flights will operate three times per week with 243-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft flying between Delta’s hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Luanda with an intermediate stop in Dakar, Senegal.
The expanded service, which launches on Jan. 20, 2011, does not affect Delta’s previously announced capacity guidance for 2011.
"As the No. 1 U.S. carrier serving Africa, Delta is committed to expanding our presence into fast-growing African markets to better serve our global business travelers," said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. "This new service between Atlanta and Luanda will shave hours off of business travelers’ itineraries between the U.S. and Angola thanks to more direct routings via the world’s largest airline hub in Atlanta."
Angola, one of Africa’s fastest growing business travel destinations, has seen double-digit growth in annual travelers for the past several years and is expected to grow at similar rates for the foreseeable future. In addition to Delta’s new direct service, SkyTeam alliance customers will continue to enjoy twice-weekly Boeing 777 service between Luanda and Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, operated by Air France.
Delta also is working with TAAG Angolan Airlines for TAAG to codeshare on the flights at a future date.
The new Luanda service marks a return of nonstop service between Atlanta and Dakar, adding to existing year-round service between the Senegalese capital and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Dakar joins Accra, Ghana as the second African city with nonstop service to two of Delta’s U.S. hubs.
"We greatly appreciate the assistance of the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of State, whose efforts were instrumental in helping Delta obtain authority to operate this important new route, which will support U.S. jobs and expand commerce between the U.S. and Africa," said Andrea Fischer Newman, Delta’s senior vice president – Government Affairs.
As the first major U.S. carrier serving Africa nonstop from the United States, Delta has grown from 22 weekly departures to and from Africa in summer 2007 to nearly 80 in summer 2010.
With its fall 2010 schedules, Delta will operate flights to eight African destinations – Accra, Ghana; Abuja, Nigeria; Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; and Monrovia, Liberia. Delta also intends to serve Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and Nairobi, Kenya once additional U.S. government approvals are received.